Sustaining Efficiency While Securing IT Operations

Given the dramatic growth of networks, applications and the equipment powering those applications, the complexity of managing access to service provider and enterprise networks is, in parallel, growing exponentially.

 

The number of end-users, end-points, and the variety of business applications is adding pressure on network operations and IT teams who are tasked with ensuring that nothing connected on the network is compromised, and that the network itself is locked down.

 

Adding more and more people and more boxes in into the infrastructure to manually monitor and manage network and applications security is not the answer. Adding more people means adding more cost – more salaries, more benefits, more training, more management of bigger and bigger IT teams.  Do the math, and for every employee added in order to ensure network and applications availability, service providers and enterprises are looking at investments in the six figures.

 

As the number and diversity of devices/applications increase, providing security can become unmanageable.

 

Thousands of servers and virtual devices, hundreds of applications, hundreds of employees and contractors are now coming into the network to do their work. You can have at any second a virtual server “born” lives for 300 seconds and disappear, all automatically. It is possible to create thousands of virtual servers in less than a minute, organize a DDOS attack and remove all of them in seconds. A kind of a ghosts attacking phenomenon.

 

There is a meshed connection among everything.

 

Centrally managing the privileged access sessions makes the unmanageable – manageable!

 

Any centrally managed PAM solution can easily introduce burdens into the daily operations. IT teams with less and less time to finish an everyday task within a proliferated hardware and virtual instances in again a given 8 hours of a working day, simply makes everything as a headache. This ends up with IT professionals to create their own shortcuts. According to Gartner, “Only 14% of privileged users are contributing to their Enterprise Security Strategy”, 2016.

 

 

At the end, security leaders find themselves needing to choose whether they will “block and slow” and bottleneck security, or become more flexible. With the correct software solutions, those leaders do not have to choose one.

 

Rather than add people, it is now possible to leverage software to not only enable existing IT teams with visibility into what’s happening inside the network, but to also automate tasks associated with securing access to the network and network elements, including those on-prem and hosted on virtual machines.

 

With a growing number of security violations happening internally, it’s more important than ever for service providers and enterprises to make sure all individuals who are able to access and change configurations on enterprise resources are registered and recorded. Whether the pressure to protect the network and everything the network connects comes from regulatory requirements or common-sense desires to protect brands from often irreparable damage should confidential information or private records be breached – it is no longer acceptable to not do everything possible to protect the network.

 

At the same time, it is also not necessary to continue hiring more and more people to manage issues – when software can automate the surveillance of the network, including ensuring there is no access given, ever, to any server or application in the infrastructure, to any individual without credentials. The more people the more risk.

 

Even when access is granted, it is no longer acceptable to trust – we must trust and verify. Verification comes in the form of recording all activities on the network, all sessions, all actions, associated with each individual who comes into the network to make policy changes and more.

As privileged access management (PAM) converges with privileged task automation (PTA) many of the formerly manual actions can be automated, and all actions can be monitored in real time, and recorded for any future need for compliance, audits, and rock-solid evidence should a compromise happen, and legal action be required.

 

Given the recent, massive and unacceptable hacks (for example the historic breach of Equifax), it’s time to make sure every angle is covered – but in a more modern, more automated way. Let’s give network operations and IT teams the tools they need to do more with less. Let’s leverage software to constantly remain aware of what is happening inside our most mission-critical networks.

 

Can we improve outcomes while also increasing productivity? We can, with the right security software and task automation solutions designed to sustain efficiency from day 1, with efficiency part of those solutions “DNA.”

 

Author: Orhan Yildirim